Working to live

We work to live and not live to work as the age old saying goes. I was thinking about this expression as I woke up this morning in my comfy hotel bed.

For some of us, it’s necessary to work long hours, including evenings and weekends. We may be saving for a house, paying for education or healthcare, studying alongside a job or running our own business, to name but a few reasons. But in a culture where work occupies so much of our time, it is important to make a little space in our busy schedules to do something that we love. Something to restore our inner balance and support our sense of purpose. It could be a five minute daily meditation, or a weekly fitness class or craft group. Or maybe a seasonal trip to the theatre or a sporting event.

Whatever floats your boat – and the world is an ocean of individually handcrafted vessels – it is important to know what puts a smile on your face and to allow yourself to enjoy it as often as you can.

Ask yourself today: what joy do I have in my life? What do I do for fun?

It’s easy to forget these basic needs that are so apparent to us as children, but that can become overlooked as adults, as we immerse ourselves in the working world. As an adult, the balance of priorities can very easily shift from personal enjoyment to professional gain, from pleasing ourselves to pleasing others.

Whilst working long and hard may allow us to plan for a more prosperous future and to protect and provide for our loved ones, it’s equally important not to forget the small pleasures that nourish our own souls and bring happiness to our day-to-day lives.

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